With the recent recession and the uncertainty of today’s economy, many people will stick to a job they dislike or will apply for the first job that comes around, even if it is not the most interesting one. While being financially secure is important, being happy is certainly not less important. Here are a few tips to help find a job you truly love.
Know What You Want and Who You Are
While this may sound pretty obvious, it is still the starting point of your career seeking process. And be warned: It is not as easy as it seems! Knowing what you want and who you are is the quest of a lifetime. Let’s start on a smaller scale here, though: Ask yourself what your skills and interests are. A little trick: In order to spot your true skills and interests, just try and remember what you ended up doing in all your previous jobs, regardless of what they were. Did you naturally take on the lead? Did you naturally took care of all the accounting? Were you always in charge of organizing meetings and figure out logistics? If you look carefully at your life – even your life outside work – you’ll see a pattern. This should help you identify your true talents and your natural abilities.
And know that, often, people are not really honest about what they truly love to do, even with themselves. Try and go beyond the standards imposed by society and think outside the box.
Build a Network
Once you spot the field you’re interested in, try and create a network in it. See if there is a union and if they organize conferences, events, meetings, etc. Browse online for companies working in the business and find out contact information of managers, coordinators, supervisors, etc. With putting extra care in not being invasive and annoying, pick up the phone and call them for advices or write them an email. Depending on the field you are interested in, people will often be happy to meet you over coffee and teach you the ropes – at least partly.
Got no experience in the field you picked? If you’ve got time – and some kind of money – consider volunteering for a little while. Say a week or two. Offer your services as an unpaid intern. It’ll be a great way to see the job from the inside and to get experience.
Don’t Make Compromises
Once you established a list of standards for a career or a position, really look for a job that has all the characteristics you are looking for. While it can be tempting to apply for all the jobs remotely resembling your standards and telling yourself that you’ll figure out a way to be happy even though the job isn’t perfect, resist the temptation and stick to your initial plan. The process may be longer and harder, but once you find a job you truly love, you’ll see that it was worth the wait. Just think about it: 40 hours a week, that’s nearly 2000 hours a year, which represents about a third of the time you’ll spend awake… Better if you spend it doing something fun and rewarding!
Mireille is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Standard Life, a leading long-term savings and investment company providing effective annuity solutions.